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Kanye West and Kim Kardashian might not be going to prison after all

By | Published on Wednesday 20 July 2016

Kanye West - Famous

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian may escape prison sentences for recording and sharing a private conversation with Taylor Swift. And not just because it’s very unlikely that anyone would bother to prosecute them over it.

As previously reported, in a bid to set the record straight/draw attention to herself/boost ratings for her TV show, on Sunday night Kardashian posted excerpts of a videoed phone conversation between Swift and West to Snapchat. It showed West calling from the studio to inform Swift that he’d written a line on a new song in which he suggested that they might one day have sex.

Although she seems to give her blessing for West to go ahead with that line, Swift noted in her response to the video that he does not mention the following lyric, which she subsequently took exception to, where he refers to her as “that bitch”.

So that was a thing. But then some people started suggesting that a crime could have been committed. Under California state law, it is illegal to record a private conversation without consent from both sides in advance. Breaking this law carries a sentence of up to a year in prison, or three years if it’s deemed to be a felony.

Speaking to BuzzFeed, LA attorney Troy Slaten said that Kardashian would be aware that sharing the recording was illegal, as Swift’s lawyers had previously sent a latter warning her of this when they became aware of the video in February.

What’s more, MTV points to a clip from the new series of that TV show she’s in, filmed around the same time as the West/Swift conversation, which suggests prior knowledge of the law on this point. Backstage at a filming of ‘Saturday Night Live’, West and Kardashian are heard discussing whether or not it’s illegal to record a conversation without consent, and she tells him “not in New York, not in New York”.

For some reason, MTV reckons that this makes Kardashian “an actual real life genius” and “criminal mastermind” for working out how to avoid going to prison for recording a conversation without a participant’s permission. Though quick-thinking readers might note, while New York – where ‘SNL’ is recorded – is indeed in the state of New York, Los Angeles, where everyone seems pretty certain that the Swift call was taped, is not.

But that’s all by the by, reckons TMZ, because California law does not ban the recording of conversations that “may be overheard”. Producer Rick Rubin is also seen in the studio during the video, and a small film crew were apparently also in the room. All of these people speak up during the phone call in the full recordings, says TMZ. Therefore, Swift would have been aware that other people were listening in, even if she was not at that time aware that she was being recorded.

There may also be one more get out for West and Kardashian, if all else fails. Attorney Darren Kavinoky informs BuzzFeed that prosecutors “have real stuff to worry about” and would therefore be unlikely to bother pursuing this nonsense.